Teachers’ workshop: the use of Artificial Intelligence in virtual education

June 13, 2023

A few days ago, the UniPID Coordination Unit hosted a fascinating workshop, where the teaching experience during this academic year was discussed, as well as how to continue strengthening our Virtual Studies Programme in collaboration with the Global South. Our guest Sasa Tkalcan also offered an engaging presentation on the use of AI in designing teaching material.

Every year, the Coordination Unit meets with the virtual studies’ teachers to reflect on previous experiences and to comment on the feedback received by both students and teachers once the course ends. These annual encounters offer an opportunity to develop better practices in virtual teaching, having in mind two key concepts: global responsibility and Global South perspectives.

For this year, we wanted to bring up a very relevant topic nowadays: the use of AI in the education sector. Given its increasing repercussion, UniPID was keen on supporting teachers to keep pace with the advances in AI, facilitating a ‘good practices workshop’ for teacher professional development.

Sasa Tkalcan representing the Global Campus team from the University of Helsinki presented new insights on the use of tools such as Chat-Gpt and Mid-journey. In the first case, ChatGpt provides teachers with easy and accessible ‘text’ information just like in a normal chat. Such conversational approaches in course design can help teachers to develop their syllabi, create assignments, provide feedback to students, and make assessments of tasks while managing time efficiently.

On the other hand, what makes Mid-journey captivating is its ability to closely represent images of real-life things. This a feature that confers a lot of benefits, aiding teachers to make a wide variety of illustrations. With the setup, teachers can think outside the box, explore as much as possible, dive deep into their imaginations, and translate their ideas into picture formats for enhanced learning. Midjourney’s prompts, unlike ChatGPT's, are not conversational, they require a lot more specificity in the way the bot generates an image.

Please note that regardless of the AI tool, it should be utilized responsibly, avoiding full reliance on the content and data provided. Always fact-check the material created. And most importantly, do not share personal and sensitive information. We strongly recommend visiting your university website to check the guidelines provided on working with AI (Consult here the guidelines provided by Tampere University, University of Helsinki, and University of Jyväskylä).

The teachers’ workshop ended with the reading of a heartening set of messages received from our students who have found the UniPID virtual programme, a source of inspiration and encouragement in their studies. Thank you to our lovely teachers who continue to make great efforts towards boosting the quality of education delivery and development in Finland and abroad.

What’s next? This encounter provided UniPID teachers and the Coordination Unit with tools and strategies to strengthen the virtual studies offer for the next academic year. The list of courses to be offered is already updated, and we are having two fascinating new courses. Take a look at our virtual studies catalogue and be ready to enroll.


Photo credits: Jason Leung, 2020 on UnSplash